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Oracle Linux? 250

Posted by Zonk
from the could-be dept.
eldavojohn writes "There have been rumors floating around of Oracle working on their own distribution of Linux. If this is true, it is widely believed that this enterprise edition of Linux would be in direct competition with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. What is spurring the rumors? Well, Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said, 'I'd like to have a complete stack. We're missing an operating system. You could argue that it makes a lot of sense for us to look at distributing and supporting Linux.' I know that Oracle has been doing a lot more than databases recently, will they go the extra mile and create their own stripped down Linux kernel? If they do, will companies switch to database solutions that are running Oracle only software for the benefits of support and (hopefully) stability?"
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Oracle Linux?

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  • by viniosity (592905) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:57AM (#16470373) Homepage Journal
    If this trend continues I wonder how many orgs would be willing to go along for the ride? Imagine a mail server running on Debian, your web server running on Sun Linux, your database server on Oracle Linux, your application server on Red Hat, etc.

    All similar but different enough to drive an IT guy batty. Too much of a good thing?
    • Sounds good to me. Monoculture is a real problem and what you just described sounds like a way to avoid it somewhat, not across various organizations but within one.
    • by truthsearch (249536) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:06AM (#16470571) Homepage Journal
      Good point. But an OS stripped down and tweaked to run Oracle will most likely have the least maintenance issues. Right now Oracle has to support their DB on multiple Linux distros, plus Solaris and Windows. If they have their own OS and push it as "preferred" they'll save their customers and themselves some support cost. I think sys admins will be happy to have their database servers built specifically for their task, plus supported directly by Oracle right down to the OS level. Oracle would be adding value to their databases, so I'm surprised this hasn't happened already.
      • by Ucklak (755284)
        And the cost of their Linux version will probably be $5000 per year to negate the lost support.

        A CIO in a mixed environment would probably bite as the advantages would be pretty apparent.
    • by iabervon (1971) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:18AM (#16470895) Homepage Journal
      I'd run Oracle on Oracle Linux instead of some other distro. (I wouldn't bother with Oracle for any database that didn't need its own server for disk bandwidth reasons; this applies to any server that runs a single service.)

      The IT guy's main headache for a database server is going to be the interaction between the database and the OS. The issue is that the server is supposed to run best on a version of Red Hat with some weird extra things enabled. Red Hat doesn't entirely understand this stuff, because they don't use it for any other configurations. Oracle understands it (they wrote it), but they're not doing tech support for Red Hat. The OS is sufficiently different from a usual Linux box that the IT guy has no clue when things are breaking. When the company I was working for got one of these, it was further complicated because the hardware didn't come with anything set up, and came from a third vendor. So we got a machine from Dell, the OS from Red Hat, and the database program from Oracle, each shipped separately, and they couldn't be tested independantly.

      I think it would make perfect sense for Oracle to distribute and support a Red Hat-derived Linux distribution exclusively for production servers. At least then there would be a vendor who would understand the thing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by djbckr (673156)

        Uh sorry, but you're wrong on most of your points.

        Oracle runs on Red Hat Enterprise or SUSE Enterprise (I might have the names mangled a bit) both with relatively straight-forward settings. Everything is included in the distributions. Yes, Oracle donated some of the code that makes it into those distros.

        Furthermore, Oracle provides *full* support for the Linux OS itself when you have a properly licensed copy of Oracle.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sqlgeek (168433)
        I'm not sure what you're refering to when you talk about "wierd extra things enabled." Here are some reasonable changes you'll want to make to /etc/sysctl.conf

        kernel.shmall = 2097152
        kernel.shmmax = 2147483648
        kernel.shmmni = 4096
        kernel.sem = 250 32000 100 128
        fs.file-max = 65536
        net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range = 1024 65000
        net.core.rmem_default = 262144
        net.core.wmem_default = 262144
        net.core.rmem_max = 262144

        And then you'll need async i/o.

        yum install libaio

        The above all taken from HJR -- www.dizwell.com > insta
      • by vhogemann (797994)
        I can see a partnership with Oracle and Sun/Dell/HP/etc for pre configured, ready to use, OracleDB Appliances. Plug-it and its ready to use!

        With a nice GUI to manage things like adding more storage, and clustering it could be a HUGE hit.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by wrp103 (583277)

      A number of years ago, Oracle came out with "Raw Iron", which was a configuration where Oracle ran on an intel box without any operating system. They found that much of their customer support was helping sys admins configure the operating system so that Oracle would run well. They also found that most customers used a dedicated database server, so the only thing running on that box was Oracle. As a result, they tried to eliminate the O/S and add a layer that interfaced Oracle to the hardware.

      I would gue

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Doctor Memory (6336)

        I would guess that they would offer a complete package that has Oracle running with Linux pre-configured to run Oracle. The idea would be that nothing else would be run on that box, except perhaps for a few utilities the customer run to monitor, backup, etc.

        In that case, why go with Linux? I'd think they'd want some kind of a minimal RTOS: a scheduler, demand-paged VM, TCP/IP stack and a simple filesystem. Basically all it's going to do is switch among Oracle threads and a network daemon, and hammer the d

        • by Arker (91948)
          Yes, dare I say it, for sheer performance they'd be better off doing a custom version of freedos, not linux.

          But linux is a good buzzword for marketing right now, and I imagine it's rather hard to find good assembler guys these days. Plus it's a lot easier to support multiple architectures this way, and I'm sure they have customers using serious non-x86 hardware to worry about.
      • by killjoe (766577)
        A few years ago they were attempting to sell hardware with oracle pre-installed too. Come to think of it they were also trying to sell managed oracle installs where they would maintain the thing.

        Those didn't seem to go anywhere.
        • I'd imagine not. Companies that use Oracle usually wind up buying enough hardware that they establish good relationships with hardware vendors, and need enough expertise that they hire their own DBAs. They're not likely to dump their vendor relationships and lay off highly critical employees without some serious guaranteed payback.

          The only companies who would be interested in such things would be companies transtioning from small to mid-sized status. I doubt there's enough of them to generate enough reve
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:33AM (#16471219)
      Suppose Oracle supports their own, reduced, version of Linux (with any performance enhancements that they deem necessary). If they "partnered" with a hardware vendor, you'd have a single stop for your database server needs.

      You'd get your BIOS updates, OS updates and database updates from a single company that could afford to do the testing so the load on your IT department would be reduced.

      You could even order it in a cluster configuration.

      But what good is a database server on its own? With a bit more work, you'd be able to buy a webserver box (hardware, OS, Apache, etc) pre-configured to hook into the database server they sold you.

      From Oracle's point of view, this would be a great way to get even more of the market and to stop any gains from MySQL or others.

      From the corporations' point of view, this would be a great way to reduce IT costs by reducing the load on your internal IT department.

      If Oracle does it right, they'd even be able to offer you dial-on-demand DBA services for their products. Why pay 6 figures to hire an Oracle DBA when you can pay 5 figures for a DBA service contract with Oracle?
      • by j_snare (220372)
        And who says they don't do that now?

        Suppose Oracle supports their own, reduced, version of Linux (with any performance enhancements that they deem necessary). If they "partnered" with a hardware vendor, you'd have a single stop for your database server needs.
        You've always got stuff like this:
        http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/linux/valida ted-configurations/index.html [oracle.com]

        They could get it so you could buy everything through them easily enough, they'd just need to coordinate and give the other companies a sli
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by truckaxle (883149)
        At one time computer companies were all vertically oriented. You bought the h/w, o/s, s/w, utilities, support all from the same company. Then along came the PC and the marketplace became horizontally organized. Various companies specialized in building hardware, software, utilities or operating systems. The efficiencies and flexibility in this mode of market organization delivered faster innovation, lower prices, more options, better support due to the more competitive marketplace. The vertical companies w
        • by Pharmboy (216950)
          IBM?
        • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @04:00PM (#16476097) Homepage Journal
          Not really. Vertical market companies are alive and well.
          Just about every restaurant, self storage company, florist, doctors office, and goodness knows what else uses vertical software. And guess what? Odds are pretty good they bought the computer, cash drawer and what ever from the same place.
          If technology isn't your business it makes a lot of sense to just buy a package and support so you can go about your job.
          Just like buying a Tivo is a better solution for a lot of people that building a MythTV box.
          I took me a long time to learn this but for most people a computer is just a thing they have to use to do their job.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I think this would be great in that Oracle could provide the perfect OS for a database. Most people running Oracle probably have it as the only thing running on their server, at least in a production environment. I think that databases could be a lot more efficient if they had an OS designed specifically for them. This is good news considering most of the time, the DB is the bottleneck.
    • by nocomment (239368)
      if it gets the job done why not?

      who cares if Oracle makes their own. You certainly wouldn't have to worry about a lot of factors...ie,
      • does the platform i'm on use inetd, or xinetd?
      • does the kernel maxfiles come into play?
      • is this target system running selinux or grsec?
      • what does the system use for startup, and shutdown scripts?
      • should I be using reiser? ext3? UFS? Do I need things like smart updates enabled? If journaled what are the best options?

      And many many more. If oracle took control of all this you wou

    • by dbIII (701233)
      All similar but different enough to drive an IT guy batty. Too much of a good thing?

      Imagine one system on AIX, two on a recent Solaris, two on an old Solaris for legacy software, linux on a couple of small clusters (less than 50 in each) plus some file, web, mail servers and an assorted blend of desktop computers all wrangled by one person. We're already going to get driven batty.

  • I didn't know the history of Oracle's head Larry [pennylicious.com] until I saw this the other day. Who knows, he might even have a brother or two named Darrel out there.
  • OpenSolaris? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai ... m minus language> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:57AM (#16470387) Homepage Journal
    I'm a bit surprised that they're not considering OpenSolaris. Linux is nice, but Oracle has been supporting Sun Solaris for far longer. Using Solaris as their base kernel would allow them to provide a large number of enterprisey (lt;-technical term) features out of the box.

    Not to say that 2.6 doesn't have bunches of enterprisey (<-technical term again) features, but Solaris is still a leader in that space.
    • I took an Oracle University class a couple weeks ago. (I'm in the process of learning to be an Oracle DBA - it was the admin 1 workshop) and the instructor said that right now their target platform for development is sun. he was joking how, 'Larry didn't like Sun there for a while, but now he likes them again so they are our target.'

      But he also seemed to think that Oracle would start rolling their own OS -- and brought up more than once that by acquiring Novell, they would pick up Suse. This seem
      • Is Oracle seriously considering buying Novell? That sounds like an interesting idea. Plus I'd finally see my Novell stock skyrocket.
        • This is merely a theory thrown out by the instructor of my class. Just some dude who works for Oracle. So I have no idea what Oracle is seriously considering. But I personally agree with the guy that it could make all kinds of sense for Oracle to do so if they are serious about having their own distro.

          I personally would love to see it since they'd have to fix OEM to work better with a non-IE browser.

          On a side note, when I took the class, all the workstations that we used to do the lab por
    • by hackstraw (262471) *
      I'm a bit surprised that they're not considering OpenSolaris. Linux is nice, but Oracle has been supporting Sun Solaris for far longer.

      I could be wrong, but Oracle used to be targeted towards Solaris and everything else was a port from that target, but in recent years Oracle has chosen Linux as the target. Again, I could be misremembering here.

      Nonetheless, I think its about time that Oracle has become and OS, because it pretty much is an OS to begin with. An Oracle box is pretty much an Oracle box, hopefu
    • Re:OpenSolaris? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Doctor Memory (6336) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:37AM (#16471321)
      If they want their own OS, they're probably going to want something that'll support clustering and a fast file system. Currently GPFS [ibm.com] is the top dog in that area, and it's only available (currently) for AIX and Linux. It'd probably make more sense to put effort into improving this than porting it to Solaris.

      Agreed that Solaris would provide more enterprise-grade (<—marketing term) features than Linux, although zones are becoming less compelling given the rise of virtualization, and I hear that ZFS doesn't provide the performance boost on SANs that it does on JBODs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by juan2074 (312848)
      That depends on OpenSolaris hardware support. I doubt Oracle wants to lose any opportunities on unsupported hardware, and it would be a lot of extra work for them to create drivers.

      Without total world domination, Larry Ellison can't become the richest man in the world, right?
    • by tigre (178245)
      As much a fan of Linux as I am, I would dearly love to be able to dtrace to track down performance bottlenecks on my Oracle server.
    • by lawpoop (604919)
      Maybe it has more to do with the politics of business, rather than the technical merits. If they support OpenSolaris, it looks like they are supporting Sun (regardless of what the reality of supporting OpenSolaris). If they go with Linux, they don't appear to have any allegiance to any other major tech company.
    • by davidsyes (765062)
      Maybe Oracle wants to save money and doesn't want to pay either Sun OR msoft...?

      I wonder if IBM's ears are perking up?

      David Syes
  • They should know that they won't really have a "complete stack" until they're implementing their own hardware base, so they can provide truly turnkey datacenter solutions. And where did that NC thin client concept go? And here comes Sun with their datacenter-in-a-truck solution.

    • If they offered a complete "vertical stack" from a VMWare platform on up, I'd be happy with that.
    • you are right. i was in a discussion with someone at oracle about this a couple weeks ago - he was teaching a class, and one of the students brought up your point. the oracle instructor kind of blew it off, but let's say they do have their own distro. are they going to manage it for all the hardware out there too? there's a post above about how right now their implementation was dell/redhat/oracle. where i work it is a little simpler as we have the same vendor for the hardware and os (ibm/aix) but then
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm posting anonymously because I'm an Oracle DBA ('nuff said). Oracle does a make a nice database, but it is hugely bloated for most purposes. And everything else they write is just pure unadulterated crap.

    If you look at what it takes to implement their ERP or Pharmaceutical Suite you will realize that they will only ever be a niche player with their own Distro. They write software to require the maximum amount of administration and consulting possible. Their consulting division make a ton of money and th

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by floydman (179924)
      " They write software to require the maximum amount of administration and consulting possible."
      I am surprised that you are a DBA....had a look at 10G, did you realize how many times you read the word automatic in the release notes , lets count a few:
      1) Automatic memory managment , DBA's spent weeks and nights to configure their memory, now its automatic
      2) Automatic storage managment, if you have'nt heared about that, then its a nifty piece of SW
      3) Automatic segment managment...the name says it all
      4) Automat
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        I wonder if it's automatic along the same lines as the stuff in MS SQL Server that's automatic? As in, it's automatic, but if you do it manually you'll get a 50% speed up. Which is where they would make the money consulting. You can run everything automatic, but it will be slow, pay us to make it run faster.
      • 1) Automatic memory managment
        2) Automatic storage managment
        3) Automatic segment managment
        4) Automatic tablespace maagment
        5) automtic DDM
        and the list goes on and on and on

        Heh, probably "automatic" as in "we removed the tools and hid the config parameters". So now consultants/DBAs who can still figure out how to do this can command 3x their current rates, because ordinary DBAs don't have a prayer of fixing this when it goes wrong.

        I'm reminded of something similar with SQL Server, something lik

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:07AM (#16470593)
    With this news, I better get rid of my Redhat stock. This news cannot be good news for ReaHat or any other Linux vendor. I hope I am not too late.
    • On the contrary

      Those of us who have problems persuading PHB's to go the Linux route will have another way to make them wake up and smell the coffee. A move like this will help kill the old 'Linux is only used by nerds' prejudices and further establish it's place in the datacentre. Today the datacentre, tomorrow the desktop (cue marching bands playing Souza, fireworks, cheerleaders, etc. )

      • by nuzak (959558)
        > A move like this will help kill the old 'Linux is only used by nerds' prejudices and further establish it's place in the datacentre

        I'm sorry, but I've worked in some Fortune 50 datacenters, and no one from the CIO on down has that attitude anymore. Maybe there's some shops with some brand-loyal morons, but Linux is very much the establishment now.

        Now just try pushing OpenBSD or even Debian over Redhat and see how far you get.
    • With this news, I better get rid of my Redhat stock. This news cannot be good news for ReaHat or any other Linux vendor. I hope I am not too late.

      I doubt it is terribly bad news for Red Hat. Even if Oracle create their own distro I doubt they would get away with ceasing to certifying their products for any other Linux distros. There are simply to many people with already established contractually sealed working relationships with SUSE and Red Hat. Of course Oracle will recommend the use of Oracle Linux®

  • Good for Linux (Score:3, Insightful)

    by otacon (445694) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:07AM (#16470607)
    If Oracle began to distribute and support Linux, it would mean good things for Linux in general, while Red Hat deploys Linux to the enterprise sector, they are a Linux based company, whereas Oracle is a much wider known and respected brand, their adoption of Linux for Enterprise could cause a slew of companies to adopt as well.
  • I don't see anything indicated in his comment that would make me think they are going to create their own brand of linux. My first reaction would be that they would acquire an existing brand. That way they have some kind of name recognition within the linux community with which to start. Then they can tinker/screw with it to their heart's content. I don't know the Linux Distros very well, anyone suggest a name that might be open to being acquired?
    • To answer my own question, there seems to be on-going speculations about Oracle buying out a distro. Specifically, Novell(SUSE), Ubuntu and Red Hat have been previously discussed as acquisitions.
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:10AM (#16470661) Homepage
    I use Oracle 10g everyday at work. It's a good database and does the job nicely. Unfortunately I have to use another solution made by them: XSQL [oracle.com]. I can honestly say that it's probably the worst framework I've ever used in my life. Sure, some parts of it make for rapid development and deployment, but other parts of it are a complete nightmare and sometimes I wonder why they bothered.

    Basically I'm wondering why Oracle want to pinch consumers away from Fedora and Ubuntu instead of just working with them to help intergrate their databases more seamlessly into these distros?
    • Basically I'm wondering why Oracle want to pinch consumers away from Fedora and Ubuntu instead of just working with them to help intergrate their databases more seamlessly into these distros?

      Have they ever been known to be that cooperative? Oracles in it for the money, baby. If a significant number of customers want to run Oracle on Linux, Oracle wants a piece of that OS pie, and they'll take it away from Red Hat if they can (which is a very good chance).

  • by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:10AM (#16470669) Journal
    What Oracle should do instead is take RHES4U4 or whatever and merely tweak it for oracle performance and release that. I think they'd do well to just get into conjunction with Redhat and make a "RedHat Enterprise Oracle optomized" version of the OS.

    Yeah, it would be a subtle fork, but Oracle has enough trouble keeping track of it's DB. I don't think they clearly understand the headache involved in maintaining an operating system.
    • by meshko (413657)
      Yep, that's the way to do it. I'm sure RedHat would be happy to participate in something like that.
      I know they already build custom RedHat distros for their large clients (usually just a couple of special packages, but anyways).
  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:10AM (#16470675) Homepage
    Linux is free but you pay a premium for the Oracle brand name.
  • With the "building their own linux kernel" business.

    If they need to do that, they might. But I don't see anyone in the business world going above and beyond the minimun necessary to sell something.

    Twist up their own Debian-based distro and make it sales/support policy to support only theirs, at a fee they feel the market is willing to buy at. Intentionally avoid testing or supporting any other distro and you've got something that's as good as a proprietary OS. Sure, source/patches may be available, but th
  • Oracle Appliance (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:12AM (#16470735)
    Admittedly, I don't follow or know a whole lot about Oracle, but wouldn't a move like this open the door to them selling a self-contained Oracle Appliance for small- and medium-sized businesses? Of course, they could also supply a list of supported hardware for people to run it on machines purchased elsewhere or built by the company's hardware guru.
    • by leandrod (17766)
      Been there, done that. "Big Iron" was it name, and it was Oracle on SunOS 5. You could install it on one pass, and Oracle supported it. Not a big success. Perhaps they really liked the idea, and think that it would be easier on free software. One wonders why not OpenSolaris, given it really scales better still; but perhaps they think the freeing of Solaris too late, too little.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:13AM (#16470745) Homepage Journal

    Except as a platform to run Oracle on. Oracle doesn't really understand fairness or openness, in large part because its founder doesn't. I'm not saying that they can't figure it out - IBM, after all, went from the most closed of corporations to one of the main sources of energy into commercial open software - but I've always considered IBM to be kind of a special case anyway. Regardless, I have a hard time seeing the industry embrace an Oracle-controlled linux distribution.

    It is possible that an acquisition of Novell could bring in enough fresh blood to turn this around... And it would bring in an already-respected Linux distribution.

    On the other hand, it makes a whole lot of sense that Oracle would start shipping a Linux LiveCD that runs the Oracle installer, which can be a bitch to get running anyway, and upon which you can run Oracle if you install it to the hard disk. After some time they could switch it to be the only supported platform for Oracle. If you don't want to run it directly on the iron, run it in a virtual machine - although unless you're on ESX or something (whatever it's called now) that's probably going to come with a dramatic performance penalty.

    Regardless, it only makes sense for Oracle to provide their own Linux. Why help Redhat? Redhat makes competing products.

  • Given what I perceive to be their past history and what the industry does regularly, I would expect them to *buy* RedHat, not compete against them. Or, someone else that's ripe for taking (over).
  • Oracle might be thinking of shifting their application stack to operate the equivilent of embedded. Integrate a custom stripped down, beefed up, optimized Linux or any other open source OS as part of the application install. PXE boot an Oracle app stack directly on open standard harware, or create virtualized guest servers. Takes the OS sysadmin away and moves management to the application level.
  • Why GNU/Linux? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why bother with GPLed code when they could just grab FreeBSD, customize it any way they want, not release the source code and not have to worry about the GPL?
  • by dcavanaugh (248349) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:18AM (#16470881) Homepage
    Larry likes to expand Oracle's reach by purchasing competitors. Consider the world of ERP, where he bought Peoplesoft and JD Edwards. It makes little sense for Oracle to build their own distro to compete head-on with Red Hat. It makes a lot more sense to threaten to build a Linux distro in the hopes of driving down RHAT shares, thus facilitating a takeover. Larry wanted to buy JBOSS, but Red Hat beat him to it. If he buys Red Hat, he gets JBOSS as well. And all of Red Hat's customers. Buying Red Hat would make Oracle the #1 Linux company overnight.

    Besides, if Oracle tries to build their own distro, market it via their existing sales channels, and support it via their existing system, Oracle Linux will truly suck. The pricing will be outrageous, the sales process will be the "car dealership" model, and the support will be the offshore model that is not all that great. Oracle makes a great product, but they are their own worst enemy sometimes.

    If I were Larry, I would create a great deal of hype about doing my own Linux distro, to soften up the price of Red Hat in anticpiation of a takeover.
  • Larry can certainly try, and Oracle will certainly take up Korea (where they have a monopoly) and a fair amount of the market, but I do not see this working for them long-term. Customers (like me) do not like to get all our software from a single place. The "Lock-in" problem exists almost just as much for Open Source software as it does for proprietary software. What happens if/when Oracle deicded to fork the kernel to better support their Db? What happens if/when those forks start to limit my options?
    • by 0racle (667029)
      What happens if/when Oracle deicded to fork the kernel to better support their Db? What happens if/when those forks start to limit my options? Voila-- I am at the mercy of Oracle for support, compatability, and expandability
      How is this situation is different from the position you are in now running a Oracle DB? Only Oracle can support you now.
  • by s4m7 (519684) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:25AM (#16471061) Homepage
    I hope not to start a flamewar but, BSD tends to be more stable than Linux for enterprise purposes (uptime, high load, etc.) even if not by a lot, why wouldn't you choose BSD over Linux for something like this? The other reason I think this would be a good thing is for licensing: They could keep their proprietary tweaks to the BSD architecture as a proprietary edge over other vendors.

    Mind you, crusaders, that I am posting this from my Linux-enabled laptop.
    • You see, the people who BUY oracle are not in the vast majority of cases the people who USE oracle. Mixing magic buzzword pixie dust into oracle lets some C-level bumblefuck put on his resume that he "bravely integrated cutting edge solutions with the whitespace of synergistic proven data management technolgies in the enterprise to improve our core competencies and effiencies for increased shareholder value" or similar. Linux, AJAX, Ruby on Rails, anything new and Shiny will do. Journalists for eWEEK or
    • Flaming on! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mcrbids (148650) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @01:25PM (#16473567) Journal
      Why not BSD?

      1) Lackluster commercial support - Linux tends to have better hardware support, drivers, etc.

      2) SMP support on the *BSDs is still young and immature. Linux, in comparison, is quite mature, and does very well on an 8-way system. BSD *might* do it, but much beyond 4-way is a sail into uncharted waters. I'm already running a cluster of 4-way boxen, so 8-way or more is not very far off, given our company's annual 2x growth curve.

      3) "It's different". Yeah, it's very similar, but if you're already used to the "Linux" way, having to rediscover how services get initialized (a la /etc/rc) is really a pain.

      4) Linux is "good enough". It's obvious that whatever metric is needed to be able to be "enterprise ready", Linux has passed it. Granted, nobody agrees on what that standard is, but most people agree that Linux can do it.
    • by Chaffar (670874)
      why wouldn't you choose BSD over Linux for something like this?
      Because Linux is a buzzword, BSD isn't. Unless you use BSD and call it Linux, hoping that nobody from your costumers would know the difference :)
  • Oracle has a strong push towards grid computing and this same business reason applies to Linux. If the customer spends less on hardware and OS licensing, they can afford more for Oracle licensing for a given project. In an example of more traditional Enterprise Oracle on AIX, Solaris or HPUX on a mid-range 4 CPU server, the hardware/OS cost is close to the Oracle licensing ($40K/cpu Oracle Enterprise, ~$150K server/disk). Oracle's goal is to use commodity hardware, cheaper OS and get a larger slice of the p
  • by HighOrbit (631451) * on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:28AM (#16471111)
    Regardless of whether it was Linux or OpenSolaris as another poster commented, this would be a **VERY** good thing for people who have to install and maintain an oracle. Especially if Oracle puts a decent updater similar to RedCarpet or RedHat Network. No more fiddling with kernel shared memory parameters, no more worrying about patchsets, no more worring about "if I update the OS, will it break Oracle" (which is the whole point of the OS installation anyway- to support the DB), and no more juggling java versions ( now managed during the install/update). They could just do the "eveything on one disk" software approach, or perhaps they could move into hardware/appliance plug-and-play clustering - just add a node and it configures and integrates.
  • I used to work at a Fortune 100 company, I now work at a Fortune 1000 company. At the Fortune 100 company no production Linux was deployed when I worked there, just Windows and Solaris (they did have a Linux lab though). Currently we are Windows, Red Hat and Solaris. We only run databases on Solaris. A year ago we tried migrating Oracle from Solaris to Red Hat and it was a disaster. We had to cancel the move and go back to Solaris.

    Oracle did not work well on Red Hat Linux for us, in fact, it worked ve

  • by MrJerryNormandinSir (197432) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:54AM (#16471661)
    One
    Raging
    Asshole
    Called
    Larry
    Ellison
  • When Oracle says they're missing an OS, I don't see Oracle 'making' the OS. I see Oracle buying Novell, or Redhat, or maybe one of the more marginal linux distros. Who actually believes that Oracle would build an OS from 'the ground up' when they can buy the expertise from an entrenched distro...
  • This seems like an move for Oracle to be able to offer a "database appliance": prebuild boxes with Linux and Oracle, and sell those to PHBs as "drop in" solutions. Many in management would fall for it.
  • Moo (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chacham (981)
    Oracle is a database. What separates them from the rest is that they do thing correctly. They fix errors even in documentation quickly, and make things works "as they should". Having been an Oracle DBA, i loved it, and i do not know of a comparable RDBMS support structure.

    So, even if they made ice cream, or pocket-protector protectors, i'd have to take a look.

    In Linux, i use Debian. They also try to do thing correctly, though they have their pitfalls. I'm a bit suprised Oralce didn't choose Debian, but i'd
  • by Genady (27988) <.moc.cam. .ta. .sregor.yrag.> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:33PM (#16472469)
    sqlplus sysdba@myserver/tiger

    update SYSV_INIT.INITLEVEL='6';
    commit;

    (or something like that. I'm a SysAdmin damnit, not a DBA)
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:37PM (#16472553) Journal
    Oracle could work with an ISP and mail out a CD or DVD with the OS, allowing home owners to try it ala AOL. While I am sure that they are thinking of a server space, this would get users AND semi-geeks use to it. While AOL is derided here, this approach apparently worked for them. The time for Oracle to push this is while they have a good name. Otherwise, they will become like Aol, Novell, or Wordperfect and then be unable to do this.
  • Not buyin' it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:50PM (#16472823)
    If Oracle can deliver a stripped down, optimized version of Linux or, specifically, Red Hat, then they can simply deliver the instructions to configure a stock system. Then any SA can configure, document and maintain the system (and/or similar system), rather than a special "Oracle Linux SA".
  • Last time I installed Oracle on Windows it installed Perl, Apache, Java.. I forgot whether I just joked about it, but in my mindset it even required Cygwin somewhere in all those gigabytes. Shipping a customised kernel and filesystem to run seem like a step consistent with that.
  • Somehow I doubt that they would bother modifying the kernel. That sounds like an invitation to trouble.

    Probably, they'd toss together a fairly normal distribution with stripped down support for application software and and easy installer for the Oracle database.

    Going the extra mile, knowing that they have some rather large government clients, they might also try to implement the fixes for any IAVAs that they can by default.
  • For a large IT department this is going to make a lot of sense.

    Oracle will provide a 4u box that is an all in solution. Plug in and go. DB Server in a box.

    Oracle ERP could be shipped the same way.

    Now what if other vendors came onboard with this.

    For any large package setting up the server and installing, configuring the software is a nightmare. But I'll buy an overpriced box from you if you configure everything before it ships. Oh, and I'll pay through the nose for you to support it. No my staff won't t
  • They should name it "Lorax".
  • Oracle can't even properly beta test its database before releasing the horrid mess to the world (10g RAC). I can only imagine the unmitigated disaster that awaits an Oracle operating system and database combination. It would be much smarter for Oracle and Red Hat to offer preinstalled and preconfigured boxes based on the customer's intended use, fully tested and certified to function.

  • This seems like a nice idea on the surface. Each software vendor certifies their software on their own software stack, all the way down to the OS. You can order a box to do a task, and be assured it will arrive and work. It will have lower support costs on the ISVs side, since they know what they are talking about. These are good things.

    However, in the real world, we don't support isolated boxes. My database servers are required to integrate with our LDAP directory and security architecture properly. RedHat
  • As I mentioned [slashdot.org] back when this came up in April [slashdot.org] ...

    Oracle already owns their own distro... home [miraclelinux.com] wiki [wikipedia.org] google [google.com]

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